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Author Topic: Battery drain  (Read 20065 times)
TheJoker
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« on: August 03, 2007, 11:33:47 am »

Hi guys,

I've not been using my car very much lately, so it's been standing for days and days. Sadly the battery seems to be going very dead very quickly. Last Friday I charged it, and then went for a journey about 35 miles away, and came back. On Thursday morning the battery was flat enough to not start the car.

The car has got a new battery ~ 1.5 months old. So before I start shouting about being given a duff battery, I'd like to know if there's anything that the Espace does to drain the battery. Would I, for example, have to do some sort of master-reset if the battery is removed etc..?! (very unlikely, but I want to keep my back clear when it comes to, potentially, getting a new battery).

Thanks!

PS, car is a 2001 2.2dCi
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roy4matra
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2007, 09:22:57 pm »

I've not been using my car very much lately, so it's been standing for days and days. Sadly the battery seems to be going very dead very quickly. Last Friday I charged it, and then went for a journey about 35 miles away, and came back. On Thursday morning the battery was flat enough to not start the car.

The car has got a new battery ~ 1.5 months old. So before I start shouting about being given a duff battery, I'd like to know if there's anything that the Espace does to drain the battery. Would I, for example, have to do some sort of master-reset if the battery is removed etc..?!

The Espace has a number of computers as well as the radio, remote, and alarm all which take tiny amounts of power from the battery, but the total current should be much less than half an amp, and a fully charged battery in good condition should last several weeks before it drops enough to cause starting problems.  However, with all modern cars and their immobilisers and injection control, if the power is too low to crank the engine properly, then it is also too low to authorise starting, so there is no point turning it over slowly hoping it might catch.  And don't ever try tow starting for the same reason.  With the voltage too low for the computers to authorise starting, you will be wasting your time.  (actually you'd never tow start the Espace because without power steering they are damn near impossible to drive! :-))

The other side of the problem is that you shouldn't jump start them either for fear of spiking the computers.  So you need to put the battery on a slow charge, and when it is up it should start.

Now if the battery is not holding it's charge it sounds like it has a fault, but you need to check for any excess drain first.  Simply disconnect the earth and put an ammeter in series to see what current flow you have.  If you are not up on electrics, get it done for you, because you could damage the meter if you try to pass too much current through it!  You will not need to do any resetting except possibly re-entering your radio code, depending on what equipment is fitted.  So make sure you know your radio code before disconnecting the battery.

If there is no excess current drain then the battery sounds like it is faulty as it is almost new.  Take it back and get them to test it and replace it.

Roy
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TheJoker
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2007, 11:20:52 pm »

Thanks for that excellent answer Roy!

I did as you suggested and connected my multimeter (hope this is the right way!) and, yes, there seems to be quite a significant drain; I'm not a sparkie, but the meter showed over 1 when connected, to drain to below 0.5 to a lowest of 0.33..... attached picture shows 0.43....

If this is, indeed, a drain somewhere in the system... where do I start to look... Pulling fuses out to see where the 'thing' is..?

(Can't seem to upload attachments, let me give it another go somehow)
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TheJoker
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2007, 11:30:06 pm »

Naah - uploading doesn't seem to work..  Roll Eyes But here's the pic anyway:

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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2007, 07:01:23 am »

As Roy also pointed out, there are a lot of 'consumers' in the car, so it will have a significant drain on the battery even when left unused. I think, however, that the almost half an amp is too much. I would have expected something lower than 100 mA.

So it appears there is a drain.

And yes, pulling fuses is the best way to locate it.

The easiest way is probably to pull the fuse and then connect the am-meter to where the fuse used to sit. This will show you if the particular component is drawing any significant current.  Or you can leave the meter connected like you have here and see when the current drops significantly.

There hare some high rate fuses in the engine room (next to the battery), don't forget those. I'm afraid accessibility isn't the best there though, I always swear a lot when trying to fit back the cover Cheesy

Lennart has been so kind to post this photo in the Espace-section:



There should be a sticker on the inside of the cover showing what the fuses are for, otherwise I have a list here.

I just remembered a problem a Danish Espace owner had some time ago - the relay for the drivers window winder had failed and did not disconnect when he had used the automatic function. It simply kept on trying to close the window even though it was already shut. He fixed that quite cheaply by replacing the soldered-in relay in the main computer, as a new computer was horribly expensive, but this is obviously not an operation for the regular DIY'er Wink To check if this is your problem, try winding the window slightly down, and then do a new measurement of the drain.

Good luck,
- Anders
« Last Edit: August 05, 2007, 12:59:20 pm by Lennart Sorth » Logged

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roy4matra
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2007, 09:06:04 am »

I did as you suggested and connected my multimeter (hope this is the right way!) and, yes, there seems to be quite a significant drain; I'm not a sparkie, but the meter showed over 1 when connected, to drain to below 0.5 to a lowest of 0.33..... attached picture shows 0.43....

If this is, indeed, a drain somewhere in the system... where do I start to look... Pulling fuses out to see where the 'thing' is..?

It's not unusual for that initial surge as you reconnect since all consumers are re-activating so if it settles down to 0.33 amp afterwards that is not too bad.  If you take that as normal you will have roughly an 8 amp hour daily drain (0.33 x 24)  So over a week that is 56 amp hour.  When you consider your battery should be a 720 amp hour (diesels always have a large capacity) even over three weeks it is only going to drop about 150 amp hour - well within limits.  Also some consumers drop to a lower level after 72 hours non-use.  They sort of go into standby mode.

So whilst you could pull some fuses and see what is using what, I don't think what you have is bad.  It is a while since I have taken a reading so I can't remember what was normal on these, but I'll let you know later (I will have a chance to check one later today as it happens)

And just to answer Anders, no I think less than 100ma today is unrealistic.

Roy
« Last Edit: August 04, 2007, 09:09:57 am by roy4matra » Logged

Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2007, 11:19:33 am »

I'm afraid I don't quite agree with your numbers, Roy! Smiley

Troels (my toddler) and I just took a measurement on mommys Espace... Wink it draws between 0 (i.e. below 10 mA) and 200 mA without ignition on. Initially it is drawing enough to cause a small spark, though, but the current drops almost immediately. To me this indicates some large capacitors in the system - which makes sense considering the amount of electronics needing stable power supply. But the constant current drawn is very low.

Regarding battery capacity, I think you are off by about a factor of 10... diesels normally have 88 Ah batteries. You might be mistaking the capacity from the starting current rating, which could be in the range of 700 A?

In other words, I think you have a problem in your car, Joker.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2007, 11:21:19 am by Anders Dinsen » Logged

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TheJoker
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2007, 01:10:22 pm »

In other words, I think you have a problem in your car, Joker.

I guess I'd have to agree on that one, as the car fails to start from time to time... Cheesy
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2007, 02:34:11 pm »

In other words, I think you have a problem in your car, Joker.

I guess I'd have to agree on that one, as the car fails to start from time to time... Cheesy

rrrr you know what I mean... in the car EXCLUDING the battery Cheesy
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TheJoker
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2007, 03:18:49 pm »

... Yes of course...  Grin Grin
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TheJoker
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2007, 07:49:38 pm »

Right gents... I've been pulling the fuses....
In the cabin, in the fusebox on the floor, the only fuse that drew any sort of amount worth mentioning was the stereo, drawing 0.12A...

.... But, then in the fusebox next to the battery there was draw... The first fuse, seen from the front of the car, is a 70A brown fuse, and that one was drawing the 0.31A , the rest of them aren't worth mentioning, except the last one (furthest back), a blue 60A fuse that drew between 0.5 and down to 0.01, fluctuating a lot initially, but then settled.. very low... humm  Huh

Anyway... Adding the 0.31 at the big brown 70A fuse and 0.12A that the stereo was drawing, adds up to about the 0.40 that I saw drawing off the battery...

So, my next question is obviously; what's that big 70A for and how to remedy this..?!

Thanks for your help!  Cool
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roy4matra
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2007, 08:58:42 pm »

I'm afraid I don't quite agree with your numbers, Roy! Smiley

Quite right Anders, I'm afraid I wrote that this morning in a rush before leaving to go to Lennart's and was thinking of 0.033 amp drain not 0.33 which he has got.  Now I have had time to think it through properly, and seen his latest post, the fault appears to be on that circuit with the 70 amp fuse since it should not have that 0.31 drain.  That one needs investigating.  I have no wiring diagrams so I don't know what it supplies but there is either a partial short in the wiring or in the unit itself.  Look for green (corroded) joints in wiring or connectors.  Sorry for mis-leading you.

Whilst I have seen 150ma drain as normal, when I checked Lennart's Espace it showed a figure around 100ma but my meter was also playing up as it was not consistent so I would not rely on its readings at the moment.

Roy
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Lennart Sorth
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2007, 09:19:42 pm »

I can add (from the same IP as Roys last post, as some may notice :-) ) that the "vault"  contains the PDF which will tell you that the frontmost fuse should be ABS and the next is diesel preheating:

http://www.matrasport.dk/Cars/Espace/vault/JE/elektrik.pdf

See page 18 - and wear your Germanic Babelfish glasses Smiley

/Lennart
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Lennart.Sorth@matrasport.dk
Murena 1983 1.9i silver // Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0d 2012 white // Smart 4two cdi 2010 blue //
TheJoker
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2007, 10:25:57 pm »

Thanks very much gents!

Sadly the fuses in the manual don't match what I've written down.

From the front to the back (right-to-left looking at the fuse box) I've got these fuses:
70A
60A
40A
70A
70A
70A
50A
40A
60A
60A
These are all "big" fuses, not the 3 small ones below the top row (see the pic that Anders attached).
And I can't seem make these fuses fit the order mentioned in the PDF manual. The order in there is:
15A
15A
60A ABS
70A Diesel preheater (30A for petrol)
40A coolersomething left
40A coolersomething right
40A washers
(two empties)
60A trailer socket
50A heatersomething
40A pneumatic suspension (I think)
40A rear defroster
60A central locking
60A fahrgastraum..?
60A
(Note that the order here is reversed to the manual, but same way I described my fuses above)

Confusion reigns! Smiley Should I go out and take a photo and/or go out there and scratch my head a bit more?? Cheesy

Thanks again for your help! Smiley
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2007, 07:51:25 am »

Sadly the fuses in the manual don't match what I've written down.

I think it may be because the manual doesn't match your car... I have the diagram for your car, so let's see if we can work it out! Wink

I'm a little confused by Lennarts photo, though, because the fuse ratings don't match the ones you have - or the ones prescribed in the diagram! But then, Lennarts car is a 2002, and my diagram covers from 09/2000 and there could be another one from 09/2001.

The first fuse you should have (furthest right in the photo) is a 70A fuse - and that's the one for preheating. It's F49 in the diagram. It's wired directly to the battery on one end. The other is spread out in five wires:

"925": Heater unit
"927": Impact switch
"980": Preheater relay
"597": The big cyan connector in the fuse box. Pins are B3 and A3.

I succeeded in scanning the connector layout in the engine room, so here's a legend to find these connectors:




925, the heater unit appears to have a small multi pole connector and is a unit fitted in the lower left corner of the engine room, furthest front.

980, the preheating relay is sitting on the right side of the battery and appears to be a small unit with cooling fins. It has the connector going up from the bottom.

927, the impact switch is the one with a coloured cover sitting in the right side of the engine room. It's the switch that cuts off the engine in case of an impact, and which can be reset by pressing it. The other side of the impact switch drives one side of the coil of relay 1069 which should be the yellow relay in Lennart's photo.

I suggest you start pulling these connectors to make out which one is the faulty one... then we'll take it one more step in the diagram Smiley

Cheers all,
- Anders Cool
« Last Edit: August 05, 2007, 07:59:26 am by Anders Dinsen » Logged

'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
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